FAQ Me My Life The Blog


I’m the sole provider for our family now. Officially.

I posted a single political link out of a dozen cute and fluffy links in last Friday’s Honor Roll, and it got people all riled up. One person was so incensed that she tried to insult me personally, calling me out for enjoying my “fancy shopping trips” while Brandon was collecting unemployment. That’s not true, but I hadn’t realized the misconception I may have been fostering by not providing an update sooner. It’s hard stuff to write about and I’d been putting it off, but no longer. Here’s what’s going on with us.

Brandon and I met in 1999, when we each worked full-time at Barbara’s Bookstore in Oak Park (making just over $6/hour in the beginning — go us!). We began dating in 2001, moved in together a while after that, and were married in May of 2004. Just before we were married, Brandon left the bookstore for a job in printing that paid more. He was there until he lost his job in January.

I left the bookstore in late 2004. I had already been working a second job which was to continue for a little longer, and I took a seasonal retail job at the first west elm store. When that was over, I decided to pursue my dream of owning a stationery business and I started Pink Loves Brown. I also took on freelance web design projects as Smart & Lovely while the stationery business took off. I started this blog in 2007, and I realized that the blog would eclipse the stationery shop a couple of years into it. The money I made from advertising was a nice bonus at first, and eventually it became enough to call the blog “a job” with a straight face.

Brandon liked the work that he was doing (managing prepress), but the environment was a bad one. We’d always hoped that he could quit eventually, but it helped support our family and provided health insurance. When he unexpectedly lost his job earlier this year, he was on unemployment for a few months while he looked for work. As I took on more projects though, it became clear that we could make it work if he wanted to be a stay-at-home dad. In July, he stopped collecting unemployment. We got rid of COBRA and bought our own health insurance (which was difficult and expensive). It’s scary to be the sole supporter since I have such a non-traditional job, but it’s working right now. If we need to reevaluate in the future, we will.

I make money in advertising and sponsored posts here on Making it Lovely, and I also write for Babble, Better Homes and Gardens, and Glidden. I’m saying yes to a lot more work than I would have before and I’m working a lot, but we’re doing well. Last year was the first year in which I earned more than my husband. This year I’ve been doing even better, and I hope to eventually be able to replace his lost income.

It wasn’t under ideal circumstances, but it seems I’ve managed to cross another item off of my Lovely Life List. A big one.

Life List Item: Make Enough Money to Support My Family

Thank you, everybody, for all of your support over the years. Especially recently. We wouldn’t be able to do this without you, and I’m humbled by you and grateful.

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  • Bella
    September 25, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    I’m a teen, and I follow plenty lifestyle blogs. None of my friends do, but I like them because they make me smile and/or happy :) Anyhoo, I look forward to your Honor Roll posts each week, and when I read the last one, I thought nothing about the political link. Maybe its because I can’t vote, but I was a disgusted at the comments I read. I was honestly surprised at the way adults were acting. Please know that I will always follow your blog, and I wish you and your family the best of luck.

  • Lauralou
    September 25, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    You rock. Love your blog! Keep working hard and hang in there!!!!

  • Emily from Spaghetti Arms
    September 25, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Good for you. You should be nothing but proud of all you’ve accomplished, both on your own and as a couple/family. Keep up the fantastic work.

  • Jennifer
    September 25, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Nicole….May I just say ‘You are all kinds of AWESOME’!


  • Sarah
    September 25, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    i am and will continue to be loyal reader and avid supporter. you do what you have to and shouldn’t have to explain it or apologize for it.

    thank you!

  • Sacha
    September 25, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Proudly a long time reader, wish I had commented before. The grace you display when attacked by people who know nothing of your life outside this blog is inspiring and empowering! Looking forward to reading about your next endeavor and how it helps you and your family grow. Best of luck!

  • Angela
    September 25, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    Holy Moly. I can’t believe how graciously you wrote that post. I find it quite appalling that anyone would ever right a negative comment about one of your posts. Move on to the next blog dear negative people! Don’t let them dim your light Nicole.

  • Chelsea
    September 25, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    You go girl. I’ve been the breadwinner for a few months now, and it’s tough to balance everything. You’re doing what matters most, which is doing what’s right for your family. Ignore the haters.


  • Lisa
    September 25, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    How fantastic – ignore all the haters – they’re just jealous!! Lisa, Australia

  • Elizabeth
    September 25, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Good on you! I’m really super delighted to know that you are secretly this great role model (being the bread winner, and doing it while doing work you love!) but rather annoyed on your behalf that someone felt it was ok to attack you.

  • Lori
    September 25, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    You know what, good for you guys! Thanks for sharing something so personal so graciously. That’s why I look forward to your posts so much. The tone is always gracious and warm. You DO rock.

  • Mary
    September 25, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    You shouldn’t have to make apologies for trolls who know nothing about you. You do what you have to do to support your family and it works! People just don’t know when to shut up. Like Lisa from Australia said, they’re just jealous.

  • Ashley
    September 25, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Yo go girl! I love your content, I love your style and I love your can-do attitude!

  • Lauren
    September 25, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    I am very proud of all your success, it is so hard for many of us (especially woman to woman) to celebrate each other, but I think we are getting better. Well spoken and clear, your family like much of the US are finding “no traditional” ways to thrive, great work!

  • jaclyn
    September 25, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Wow, it never ceases to amaze me what people with too much time on their hands will do. Nicole–you’re doing great! I’ve been reading since before you were pregnant with Eleanor. The first thing I thought when I moved from MN to MI was….I’ll be closer to Making it Lovely! LOL. Seriously, you are a wonder and inspiration to many. Please don’t be dragged down by the jealous and petty, even if they sometimes are the loudest and most zealous in commenting.

  • Kat
    September 25, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    People who start their argument with personal insults do not add anything to the discussion. I’ve seen more contentious links on Facebook. My husband is liberal and has many friends who fall in both the conservative and liberal spectrum. What’s great about the discussions on his Wall and in person are that both sides can back up their arguments with facts. I believe there should be more interest instead of apathy in politics.

    As for “fancy shopping trips” that’s plain jealousy and that person does not know anything about the hustle you have to do as a freelancer and work is still work (no matter how much you love your job).

  • Nuit
    September 25, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    Nicole, congratulations for this. You are a true inspiration and so graceful. I love reading your blog since before the babies! and I understand… I am single mom and have NO choice but support my family. I am a proud follower ;) Hugs from Mexico! xo

  • AnnW
    September 25, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Can’t believe the comments to the previous post. I have always liked your blog because you are professional, you write with correct grammar, your content is interesting and creative and you have showed a get up and go non- whining American spirit that I Love! You don’t talk about Gods plan like many bloggers do, you make your own plan. Your design and ideas are as good as any out there. We all know that many of the houses in Architectural Digest are derivative at best. You have never written anything off color, mean, or snarky. In sum, you are one of the few adults in Blogland. Even if you linked to Ron Paul, or Rick Perry, I would follow you. I’m proud to be a reader of such an intelligent blog. Don’t let the **********s, fill in your own words, get you down. Ann Wilson

  • Madge Dulouz
    September 25, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Thank you for sharing your light and magic through the years. Your blog has inspired me and cheered me up on many a day. You have shared your family life, your craft and mostly yourself on this blog and you own not one person an explanation on what you do with your time, money, or life. I wish I could say that I was appalled by the comment that sparked this post, but there are a lot of insecure and unhappy people in the world that have no idea how get to a happier place, so insulting you is just another way for them to act out their displeasure. May blessings continue to find you and your lovely family. Shine on!!!

  • AnnW
    September 25, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Nicole, if you lose readership, I would be most happy to pay an annual subscription to your blog. It would be worth far more than the $30 plus I spent on a year’s worth of Folk magazine. Ann

  • Ryan Green
    September 25, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Congratulations! You bust your butt to make it work and you deserve to be successful. I hope every year is better than the next for you and your family.

  • Nicole
    September 25, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Happy that you’re happy!

  • Lora
    September 25, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    Nicole, I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your blog! You are definitely among my favorites and I’ve passed on and will continue to pass on your posts to friends and family. Cheers to you and your blog!!

  • T.J.
    September 25, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    You are amazing, and your hubby, too. You both work hard. Things may look different now than when you started out, but you’re both working hard to provide. Please keep in mind that there are always going to be people who want to say nasty things behind the cover of anonymity that the internet provides. It is not how everyone who reads your blog sees things, though. You have to buy clothes, you have to eat, you even need to relax and get away once in awhile. I think you’ve always been up front and honest with your readers. Your choices have not seemed extravagant or dishonest to me. I admire how, even when life threw you some major curve balls, you kept at it. I don’t know that I could do the same, but you give me hope that if bad things happen, I can keep at it, too! Thank you!

  • Sara
    September 25, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    Congratulations on achieving this life list goal. It was your list that inspired me to get my Life List and blog off the ground – so thank you.

    I remember reading your post back in January about your husband losing his job and thinking how hard that must be. Fast forward a few months and I too find myself in that same situation, with my husband’s company going bust a few weeks back. He is currently working overseas, but once that project finishes, I am the sole bread winner. It will be hard, but your story is my inspiration that things will work out, somehow…eventually.

    As for the backlash you received after your Honor Roll post. I just don’t understand why people take offence to differences in opinions. Your blog is not about politics, so why should your beliefs impact on how I view your blog? Maybe I am naive? Maybe it is because I am Australian and we don’t take politics as seriously?

    Best of luck on achieving more of your goals.

  • Sara
    September 25, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    In light of such a nasty comment, I just want to voice my love for you/this blog. It’s one of the few that captures what I love about life (design/kids/awesomeness) without being cutesy or forced. You seem so genuine (and very lovely), and I just plain love this place.

    Plus I live in Downers Grove, so someday I hope to bump into you. And although I would bumble and blush, and you would be totally chill, and Eleanor and August would be looking so stylish, and I would certainly embarrass myself, I would love it.

    • Katherine
      September 26, 2012 at 10:42 pm

      We live in Woodridge. I keep thinking we’ll see Nicole at Ikea!

  • Nikki
    September 25, 2012 at 7:33 pm

    Way to go Nicole! You are an inspiration to moms and blogging moms alike.

  • Julie
    September 25, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    Truly, the only thing that bums me out about this post is that you felt a need to justify your life. It is NOBODY’s business what you and/or your husband do for a living, and I am just galled that someone has the time to make comments like that. You keep up the good work!

  • kat
    September 25, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    just wanna holla at you… so hoooolllaaaa! lol

    been reading your blog for several months now. thought it best to contribute to the waves of positive commenta coming your way after this post.

    please keep the awesome posts coming! :)

  • Katie Stephenson
    September 25, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    You have a voice, and i you want to use it to promote someone or something you believe in, guess what…there is freedom of speech in this country and I know it is hard to hear negativity coming back about it, please continue if you want to. I happen to share your political views but even if I didn’t I would say speak your mind, USE your voice.

  • Lindsay
    September 25, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    Kudos to you and Brandon! You’re obviously a great team.

  • Amy
    September 25, 2012 at 7:44 pm

    I admire that you are finding success with your blog. You provide endless inspiration.

  • Erin Q.
    September 25, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Love to you and yours, Nicole. :)

  • yolanda
    September 25, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Nicole — i love your blog! thank you for sharing so much of you and your adorable families’ lives with us. Keep your chin up you’ve got al lot of love out here!

  • Hana
    September 25, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Good for you! I have to say that I used be ambivalent about sponsored blog posts. But now I am good with it as long as the products are in line with the blogger’s viewpoint and don’t seem inconsistent with the blog. I am always happy support blogs that I love and read often. It’s so great that you do it so well that you can make a living out of it.

  • Sarah
    September 25, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Nicole – how you make your money and support your family is nobody’s business but yours. Unfortunately some blog readers think because they read your blog every day, they have the right to comment on your personal life, which is a little weird to me.

    Like you, my aim is to be in a position to earn more than my husband so that he can stay home when we start a family. I love my job as a teacher and can’t imagine taking years off work, whereas he doesn’t have the same passion for his job, so it only makes sense that he stay home, rather than me. I admire that you’ve been able to do that! I can only imagine all the hard work you’ve put in! Congratulations for reaching your goal!

    – Sarah.

  • Brittany Lauren
    September 25, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Your such an inspiration to all woman! You define success as the new “traditional” mom. I love it and more power to you. Keep rocking on…!

  • Deirdre
    September 25, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Hi! I recently found your blog and I’m enjoying it thoroughly. I wanted to congratulate you this news! It must be so amazing to be able to provide for your family and enough so your husband can be a stay at home dad. That’s pretty amazing. Well, I just wanted to say congrats and thanks for re-linking to your Obama post. OBAMA 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  • Kelly
    September 25, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Keep your head up! I hope you are not letting one weirdo comment get to you. You don’t need to explain or justify ANYTHING to ANYBODY. I am super inspired by you.

  • EM
    September 25, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    This post was so eloquently written…it just goes to show that if anyone can make a living from writing, it’s you!

  • Val
    September 25, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Im a big fan. Keep up the good work. Leave the haters in the dust.

  • Tracey
    September 25, 2012 at 9:10 pm

    It’s been said, but you rock. :)

  • Lisa @ Wicked and Weird
    September 25, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Nicole, I have been a long-time reader and never left a comment (bad blogger) but absolutely had to chime in with my vote of support and commendation. I was so impressed by your keynote in Toronto, you were amazingly honest, straight-forward, and professional. This just cements my opinion and provides me with even more inspiration. You are at the forefront of a whole new profession and a whole new industry, and in a very public way! You are bound to mis-step and anger people on an un-trodden road. I just wanted to remind you that there are those of us coming up behind you who are aware of how much smoother you have made that road for us and appreciate all the sign posts you have planted along the way. Bravo for this accomplishment – and thank you!

  • Arli
    September 25, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    While I appreciate reading a little insight into your life, you don’t owe anyone who reads/comments on your blog an explanation WHATSOEVER! I read the blog for the content. I enjoy it. The personal and financial decisions you and your husband make have no relation to the content or my enjoyment of your blog. I do, however, applaud you for turning this blog into a successful business, and for being in the position where you had the choice for your husband to be a SAHD. Congratulations! You go girl!

  • dawn
    September 25, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    i’m sorry that others make such sour assumptions that you feel compelled to explain yourself. losing our jobs or having a partner get laid off can happen to anyone in this economy; you are such an inspiration to all of us out there trying to make ends meet and do what you love. straight up kudos for your honesty and humbleness.

  • MJ likes to draw
    September 25, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    I think it’s fantastic that you were able to find a way to do what you love and be able to take care of yourself and your family at the same time. It’s very inspiring! Unfortunately, there’s always going to be a certain amount of people that have something negative to say, perhaps because they can’t think outside the box (sad). I don’t think you need to waste time and energy on them. Just know that your hard and unique work is very much appreciated and you should be proud of your accomplishments. As long as you are all happy and well, keep doing what you do and thanks for sharing all your ideas with us,

  • Jess
    September 25, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    De-lurking to tell you how awesome and inspiring you are. I love your blog and it’s amazing that you can support your family by doing what you love. Haters gonna hate.

  • Cheyenne
    September 25, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    I have always been inspired by your posts and wish you all the best! You rock.

  • patricia
    September 25, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    Good for you and congratulations! Hope for the best always and you shall get it! :)

  • Liz
    September 25, 2012 at 10:13 pm

    You rock lady! I’ve read your blog for years and never felt compelled to comment until now. I was just so horrified that you felt you had to defend your decisions/lifestyle because of one cranky reader. I love your content and all of your hard work that you do- thank you for all of it!

  • Audrey
    September 25, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    I’m super excited for you! Way to bring home that bacon!

    And I’m sorry your round-up of interesting things had to become so intense. If people care enough to get that upset, they should probably switch to satellite radio.

  • Meredith
    September 25, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Congratulations Nicole. I love your blog. I hope things continue to go well for you and your family. Thank you for the work you do, you inspire me!

  • Kim
    September 25, 2012 at 10:38 pm

    Please ignore the haters! Love that your family is making it work.

  • Karina
    September 25, 2012 at 10:42 pm

    You go girl, these are difficult times and you are an inspiration!! Don’t take to heart comments from people that do nothing but assume that they know.

  • Jamsby
    September 25, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    You rock,lady. It’s not easy to be freelance. My husband was laid off a few years ago and started his own business. I was working full time, and we were able to tighten our belts and make it work. Then I got pregnant as his business started making a little money, but the income was still very uncertain. I decided to leave my job rather than spend most of my money paying for daycare (we live in an expensive city), and the last 2.5 years have been very, very stressful at times. We pay so much for terrible health insurance, and a lot of my husband’s income goes to taxes (I’m sure you are in a similar situation). Still, I feel so lucky compared to many, and I think you and I are on the same page politically; I just believe that the current administration is so much more mindful of the welfare of the majority of the people in our country. Anyway, a long winded comment to say you rock. Thanks for sharing this.

  • kristin
    September 25, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    Aw Nicole, this is AWESOME. I’m sorry Brandon’s had the struggles with work that he has, but the fact that you’ve been able to build your blog up to make a real living from it is a total inspiration!!! You deserve it all!

  • Elizabeth
    September 25, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Congratulations on the success of the blog! As a devoted reader, of course I feel that your success is well-deserved.

    In regards to the heated comments on Friday, I want to note that I am always interested to see another facet of the bloggers whose homes I follow with such interest. Ultimately, it’s not the pretty pictures but the personality that keeps me reading this or any blog. Whether I differ on a chair selection that looks uncomfortable, or a party theme I wouldn’t go for, or a DIY method or even a political affiliation — I don’t have to agree with everything to be able to respect and appreciate someone.

    Thank you for being willing to share yourself with us.

  • Chloe
    September 25, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    Oh Nicole, how lovely this all is… truly. Talk about taking un-ideal circumstances and making family goals a reality! Congratulations!

  • Carla
    September 25, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    You effing rule! Congrats and rock on! It is so well deserved and no doubt hard earned, you are an inspiration!

  • Marci
    September 26, 2012 at 12:15 am

    Congratulations! I am sure you are working BEYOND hard, all hours, lots of stress. Don’t let anyone writing to you from the anonymity of their computer screen make you feel like less of a success than you are. I can empathize with your struggle, with a 10mo old, my husband lost his job, I am the sole provider for our family. It is hard. I work stupid hours all night to be available for my son all day, and to let my husband continue his job search full-time. It is not easy, but SO worth it! You’re doing great, Nicole. Keep blazing the path.

  • Ariane
    September 26, 2012 at 12:56 am

    Happy modern family ! Mamma blogger/daddy at home … what else ? You more than deserve all you work hard for … keep the good spirit !

  • Comeca
    September 26, 2012 at 1:16 am

    You owe know one an explanation about how you and your family spends your money. Enjoy your life employed unemployed etc. Unless someone is supporting you they haven’t one reason to even inquire. Be blessed.

  • Karen
    September 26, 2012 at 1:54 am

    Thanks for sharing your story. I’m happy for you and I respect the way you approach things. Plus you have style! Wishing you and your family health and happiness. :-)

  • Melissa @ HOUSEography
    September 26, 2012 at 5:53 am

    Go you!! Congratulations! I have been the primary bread winner for many years in our house but it has evened out over the last few as my husband has made more and I have taken cuts to spend more time with my kids. I feel relieved! Even though your work is nontraditional, it is diversified so you shouldn’t be too worried. And I loved the Obama piece you put up. It was great and I forwarded it to several friends.

  • Sarah
    September 26, 2012 at 7:27 am

    Congrats on the results of your hard work! Well deserved.

  • Jeanne Rondeau
    September 26, 2012 at 7:45 am

    You are doing a great job! Congratulations on making the big step. Most people only dream of making it on thier own. Obviously, these were not ideal circumstances but sometimes a push is what one needs to make a leap. All the best!
    -Jeanne, Domesticspace.com

  • spark
    September 26, 2012 at 7:54 am

    I’m always surprised by people who take the time to be so snarky. What are they thinking when they are typing? Are they like this in real life? How are they with their own friends and family? How do they teach their daughters to behave? You put nothing but goodness out into this blog. So glad some of it is coming back your wayxxx

    • Laura
      September 26, 2012 at 11:36 am

      Spark, you stated exactly what I couldn’t find words to express. I so agree.

      • spark
        September 27, 2012 at 8:14 am

        Aww, thanks Laura!

  • Lydia
    September 26, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Congrats on your success!
    Any tips on finding / buying your own health insurance? I would love to freelance full time, but I have no idea where to start!

    • Holly
      September 26, 2012 at 8:56 am

      Lydia, one of the great things about the Accountable Care Act (aka health reform/Obamacare) is that it will make this process so much easier. Each state will have a health exchange that is like an online marketplace for health insurance. (Or to put it in crafty terms, consider it an Etsy for health insurance!)

      People say health reform is a job killer, but it isn’t. By making it easier to purchase insurance individually, it is freeing up people like you and Nicole to leave the corporate world and start your own small business.

      • Lydia
        September 26, 2012 at 9:19 am

        Hi Holly,

        Thanks for your response! Health care shouldn’t be this difficult! Isn’t the “american dream” owning a business and being an entrepreneur? It’s pretty impossible if paying for insurance is more than my monthly mortgage payment. I’ve seen a lot of “on site freelance” opportunities pass me by, because my husband does contract illustration work and is on my (corporate) insurance. It’s so frustrating! Yes, it’s incentive to stay with my employer (or any employer with decent insurance), but it really limits my personal career choices.

    • Making it Lovely
      September 26, 2012 at 10:43 am

      Insurance is still difficult to navigate right now. The Affordable Care Act made it possible for my family to be covered (one of us has a pre-existing condition), but it’s still very expensive. We had to opt for 80% coverage with a $5000 deductible per person, and our monthly insurance still costs as much as our mortgage. It’s sad.

      • Laura
        September 26, 2012 at 11:40 am

        It’s sad and it’s wrong. My daughter, a newly minted 8th grade teacher, is saving $17,000/year in medical costs by having employer-paid insurance. Her husband is self-employed and in the same boat as you. This is driving two-income families.

  • corrin
    September 26, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Your personal business is your personal business…back to shopping!

  • Kathleen
    September 26, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Good for you, Nicole! The haters are just afraid – they don’t understand that women can be breadwinners and that success and progressive politics are NOT mutually exclusive. XOXO

  • Holly
    September 26, 2012 at 8:53 am


    From late childhood one of my goals has always been to earn enough to support my family because I always wondered how my mom would’ve made ends meet if somethign happenned to my dad or to their marriage. As a resutl I’ve always been able to support my family without a second income. It’s empowering, isn’t it?!

    I am sorry you were made to feel that way. I echo a previous commenter who said you owe no one an explanation.

    I hope your husband and kids enjoy their time together. My husband stayed home with our kids for a year and it really strengthened their relationship.

  • Crystal
    September 26, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Thanks for sharing this. May your business continue to soar!

  • Catherine
    September 26, 2012 at 9:15 am

    I rarely comment but I just had to say that you don’t need to justify your existence and personal circumstances to anyone. You’re an inspiration to anyone whose significant other has lost their job and they’ve had to work out a way of making the ends meet again.

    I’m Australian so I don’t get the American health care system at all. As an Australia, if you’re unemployed, self employed or employed, you are able to access the free public health care system. If you want to purchase private health insurance (which the government encourages by paying a rebate), it’s available to all and relatively affordable, depending on the coverage you select. It puzzles me why there isn’t a similar situation in America.

    • jess s
      September 26, 2012 at 10:06 am

      she doesnt HAVE to justify it, you are right. but for those of us rooting for her, it is great to see things working out for her & the family, and to know that it is still possible for someone to support their own family without punching a corporate time clock.

  • Laurie
    September 26, 2012 at 9:20 am

    I’m so sorry you had to write this post, yet glad you were able to do it in a positive, respectful light. Congrats on the breadwinning and way to go stay-at-home dad!

  • Jennelle
    September 26, 2012 at 9:20 am

    I love it that you’ve found something that makes you happy and makes you money! Things happen for a reason, and you’ve found your calling in life. I’m confident that Brandon will find his path, too, wherever it leads the two of you and your children! Good luck!

  • jess s
    September 26, 2012 at 10:04 am

    wow, people are nuts. i can’t believe you got flack for the 90 reasons link. everyone knows republicans have bad taste so i can’t imagine why they would be surprised.

    • Courtney
      September 27, 2012 at 3:33 pm


  • Cathi
    September 26, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Congratulations on your continued success! While it’s disappointing that negative comments prompted the post, your readers are THRILLED for you, Brandon and family. I bet you will look back on this year as a defining moment for your family.

  • Nadia
    September 26, 2012 at 10:52 am

    Man, I can’t believe the ugly comments over a benign link. “If you like XYZ (different from me)… THEN I HAVE TO HATE YOU!!!” Keep up the good work! I look forward to seeing more from you (it doesn’t have to be your personal financial situation :-)

  • Kristin
    September 26, 2012 at 11:12 am

    That is awesome and you should be so proud!!

  • Sonia
    September 26, 2012 at 11:16 am

    I agree with other readers. This is your blog and you should choose to share what is important to you. Keep up the great posts!

  • kim charie
    September 26, 2012 at 11:30 am

    wow. how unfortunate that you’ve been insulted about the decisions you’ve made as a family. good for you to pursue this blog. you have fantastic taste and you have it together! way to go, and keep this going!!

  • Jenn
    September 26, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Nicole, YOU. ARE. AMAZING!!!! How you handle your blog, family and all of your other resposibilities is beyond me, yet you manage to do it all. For your family. There will always be those with negative attitudes, who are filled with self-loathing, and want to attack you. You and I are on opposite sides as far as political agendas are concerned, but there was nothing wrong with you posting that Obama article. This is your blog and last I checked we were living in America. Keep doing what you’re doing and those of us with class will keep reading and loving your style!

  • Jen
    September 26, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Nicole, I’m a long-time lurker but this post made me feel like I had to comment. First, congratulations on turning your Blog into something that supports your family. I’m so proud of women who stand up and do what needs to be done for themselves and especially for their families. You are an inspiration to your readers and I’m sure to your family. Second, it is sad that people feel the need to attack you. You started this Blog, you write for it and so you choose what content it will have. People have a choice to either continue to subscribe or to go elsewhere for their narrow-minded interests. No person is one-sided and to expect someone’s Blog to be is unfair. You are doing a fabulous job, please don’t let the haters get you down.

  • BAJo
    September 26, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    You deserve everything that you have worked hard for! You and your family have come through a tunnel and now it is time for the sun to shine on you.

  • Sona Jacob
    September 26, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Hey! You are doing great! I have been reading your blog for quite sometime now (a lurker have I been) and quite admire your spirit. Just keep up the good work and IGNORE the haters!! And I am sure your husband will soon find his groove and then you will look back at this time as a great formative period!!!

    All the best!

    (All the way from India)

  • Didi
    September 26, 2012 at 12:34 pm

    You are a lovely and talented woman w/ an equally lovely family (and blog!). I am sad that you’d have to defend yourself to those who obviously suffer some sort of psychopathology and use online forums to air their illness. I frankly do not know how you manage to do it all, but you do. And with such grace. You’re a real role model. I hope things just keep getting better and better for you. You’ve earned it.

  • Kristen
    September 26, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Amazing! You’re an inspiration :)

  • Sarah D'Imperio
    September 26, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Nicole, this brings me back to one of my issues in life. Why can’t mothers/women support one another and assume that we are all doing our best, and that we know what is working for our families? Good luck to you and much support from me!!

    Sarah in NYC (:

  • Peaches
    September 26, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Good for you. It’s a shame you have to take the time to clarify these sorts of things just so some asshat understands your personal business. Just the same, I appreciate the honesty. So many of us are struggling to navigate the waters. Money. Insurance. Stability. Savings. I don’t know how people do it, but I do know that one day, your kids will look back at this post and recognize that their mom had balls. Good for you guys. Good for you!

  • JessK
    September 26, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    I’m not an Obama fan, but I’m a huge fan of you! I’m sorry that some people aren’t open to polite political discussion–it is one of the worst things about our country right now. You have the right to post your opinions and vote however you like, as does everyone else.

    You didn’t have to share about your personal life here either, though I agree with the many comments–it is an inspiration. I wish you continued success!

  • Amber @ Pooch and Puddy
    September 26, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    I love your blog. I am so surprised that people could get all up in arms about a link posted on your personal blog. If I disagree with something written somewhere, I go elsewhere. Why do people find that so hard?

    Good for you, supporting your family all on your own!

  • Dawn
    September 26, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    There are plenty of friends I have that don’t see eye to eye with politically. You know what? It doesn’t matter. Life is too short! Its your blog, you post what you want and keep kicking ass, girlfriend! Stand tall & be proud – you earned it!

  • Amber, theAmberShow
    September 26, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Nicole, cheers to you!

  • Eileen
    September 26, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Nicole the things you share on your blog are a constant inspiration to me. Keep on doing what you’re doing and bringing home that bacon!

  • Funmi
    September 26, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Love your blog, but I don’t typically comment. But I have to say shame on whomever thought it was any of their business how you and your husband decide to support your family. You don’t owe any explanations for the choices you make in your life, especially when it comes to doing what’s best for your family. Bravo to you for having the smarts–and courage–to be able to step out on faith at each step along the way, and for the successes it has brought you. Best of luck to you all.

  • Evelyn W
    September 26, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    This is an amazing thing to accomplish.

    As for the fancy shopping trips, I love ’em. I think it makes more money sense to buy less but buy quality and honestly, when I look at your extremely edited lifestyle via the blog, I can tell the finances are in order.

    Again, congratulations on the huge achievement!

    Much continued success (from very hard work and a great internal support system). You guys deserve it!

  • cvjn
    September 26, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    wow. i feel like i want to hit the person who slammed you. you are so awesome, and i give you many props for supporting your family! i’ve been reading your blog for 5 years, and never felt like you owed me an explanation for how you spend your money. in fact, i think you’ve been more than forthcoming about your situation, your sponsors. in addition, nothing has ever given me the impression that you spend extravagently! hope all the support you see here far outweighs the CRAZY.

  • Rebecca D.
    September 26, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    You don’t have to explain yourself or justify your life to anyone. The people who left nasty comments were clearly people who followed this blog and had no problem with it until they got a whif that you might vote differently than they will in November. To criticize you now is hypocritical, and nothing that you say about your life circumstance will change the mind of a biased and/or non-thinking person. You do you, girl. It’s why people tune in here.

  • Cristina O.
    September 26, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    I am following you from Spain, for 3 years, go ahead!!, you are doing it very well!!Mucha suerte!!

  • Felicity
    September 26, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Ugh, people can be so jerk-y! Since when did it become ok to kick people when they are down, or perceived to be?

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